Just a year after their formation in 1982, The Smiths made their live television debut on a November 1983 episode of the classic BBC One show Top of the Pops, where they performed “This Charming Man”. Frontman Morrissey swung a whiplike bouquet of gladiolas around as he sauntered about the stage while guitarist Johnny Marr stood his ground.
This Charming Man performed live on Top of The Tops, broadcasted on 24th November 1983.
Marr explains the performance and the flowers in a 2011 article for The Guardian.
We’d first used gladioli onstage at the Hacienda about a year before, to counteract the all-encompassing austere aesthetic of Factory Records. People assumed it was an Oscar Wilde homage but that was a bonus. The flowers made the stage very treacherous if you were wearing moccasins, but they became emblematic, iconic. Morrissey was using those gladioli in a way that was far from fey, almost brandishing them. Morrissey provided flamboyance, the rest of us wore sweaters and provided a streetwise, gang aspect.
The band returned to the show in 1984 and in 1985.